If you ask someone to invest their time and energy with you, try to make it as easy as possible for them to say “yes” when you approach them. For collabs on YouTube and Instagram, this means doing some of the work upfront so your potential collab partner can easily decide whether ‘collabing’ makes sense. The two most important areas to focus on are “Creative Fit” and the “Creative Concept.”
Creative Fit: You should look for collab partners who create content that is in some way similar (or at least complementary) to the content you create. Choosing a collab partner with similar or complementary content increases the likelihood that the audience of your collab partner will appreciate (and hopefully subscribe to) your channel. However, you do not need to limit yourself only to channels making exactly the same type of content as you; for example, if your channel focuses on yoga and fitness, then it would definitely make sense to collab with another channel focused on vegetarian or healthy cooking, as there is likely to be some complementary overlap between your audiences.
Creative Fit is also important because you should always produce content that is authentic to your own style and voice. Your audience has chosen to follow you because they like who you are and what you are about. If your collabs showcase these aspects of your personality – perhaps in a slightly different context than what they expect – then your audience will appreciate you even more for who you are. In contrast, if you dramatically change your style or tone for the sake of a collab, such a change may not resonate well with your audience, as it may cloud their understanding of who you are and what you are about.
When trying to determine whether you have a good creative fit with a potential collab partner, try asking yourself these questions:
Would you subscribe to your potential collab partner’s channel, or could you see yourself watching their videos from time to time on a regular basis? If so, then you probably have enough in common to collab together.
Based on your potential collab partner’s videos, do you think you share similar values? For example, do you both make an effort to keep your content “family-friendly” or is some of your content R-rated?
Imagine you are co-hosting a live TV show with your potential collab partner. The first half of the show features one of your videos, then there is a long commercial break. When the show returns, the second half of the show features a video from your potential collab partner. Ask yourself: would the show still make sense to the average viewer as a whole? Or is the first half of the show so different from the second half pf the show that it would be confusing to the audience?
Creative Concept: Before you reach out to a potential collab partner, spend some time reviewing their videos and content, take notes on anything that stands out to you, or any new collab ideas that come up as you’re watching their content. Once you have a good understanding of that person’s style and voice, brainstorm a few specific ideas that would make for an interesting collab.
Presenting several specific collab ideas, along with an open request for any suggestions they might have in response, will make it easier for your potential collab partner to say “yes” to a collab as it demonstrates that you are willing to invest your energy in them, which should inspire them to do the same for you!
That’s it for this post – make sure to come back for Step 4: The Pitch. And as always, if you have any comments or ideas to share with the Collabspace community, please leave them below!